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F1 | Wolff: Radio communication between race control and team principals should be banned

Toto Wolff has recently agreed with the sentiment that F1 team principals should not be allowed to communicate by radio with the FIA race director. 

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F1 | Wolff: Radio communication between race control and team principals should be banned
Fuente imagen: f1.com

This year the FIA and F1 have agreed on broadcasting selected communication between the teams and race director Michael Masi for the first time ever, in order to provide more insight into the “behind-the-scenes” of a race. But as much as it has been an interesting feature, it also surely backfired. 

On a regular note it is usually the teams sporting director that was the one to communicate with the race control during the races, but this season has seen many instances where both Toto Wolff and Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal have taken over their sporting directors Ron Meadows and Jonathan Wheatley, and spoken with Masi directly in order to influence the decisions of race control, which has been the most visible during the final parts of the Abu Dhabi GP. 

After Wolff not only asked for no safety after Giovinazzi stopped on track but also made his thoughts very clear after the restart, and Horner asked for the cars in front of Max Verstappen to be allowed to unlap themselves, Ross Brawn, the F1 managing director has suggested that the team bosses should not be allowed to use the race control channel no more. 

When asked about the same thing during an interview with motorsport.com, Toto Wolff responded: “I agree with Ross. But I equally blame Ross and myself because we have been part of the decision making to broadcast more of the channels for the purpose of transparency and entertainment for the fans. There is so much going on on the intercom that giving fans a little bit of an overview of all the little dramas that happen, like is the car breaking down, are we having some kind of strategy discussions, was meant well. But I think we overshot.”

“I need to take myself by the nose, and Christian. We were given the opportunity to talk to the race director directly, and because we fight so fiercely for the interests of our teams all of us overstepped.

“It certainly was part of the failures this year that under pressure from the team principals also the race director’s life wasn’t made easier, certainly.”

Wolff has also said that not only should the team principals be banned from talking to the FIA race director, but there also should be limits on what the sporting directors can actually do, in order to not try and influence the decisions. 

As he said: “We need to come back. I think team principals shouldn’t speak directly to the race director, it should be the sporting directors. I will go one step further and say I don’t think sporting directors should be lobbying race director or exercising pressure. They should be pointing to situations that the race director or his colleagues might not have spotted, but not lobby, not pressurise.”


Source: motorsport.com 

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